mandate

noun
man·date | \ˈman-ˌdāt \

Definition of mandate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an authoritative command especially : a formal order from a superior court or official to an inferior one

2 : an authorization to act given to a representative accepted the mandate of the people

3a : an order or commission granted by the League of Nations to a member nation for the establishment of a responsible government over a former German colony or other conquered territory

b : a mandated territory

mandate

verb
man·date | \ˈman-ˌdāt \
mandated; mandating

Definition of mandate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to administer or assign (something, such as a territory) under a mandate

2 : to officially require (something) : make (something) mandatory : order a law mandating recycling also : to direct or require (someone) to do something a commission mandated to investigate corruption

Keep scrolling for more

When Should You Use mandate?

A mandate from a leader is a command you can't refuse. But that kind of personal command is rarely the meaning of mandate today; much more common are connected with institutions. Thus, the Clean Air Act was a mandate from Congress to clean up air pollution—and since mandate is also a verb, we could say instead that the Clear Air Act mandated new restrictions on air pollution. Elections are often interpreted as mandates from the public for certain kinds of action. But since a politician is not just a symbol of certain policies but also an individual who might happen to have an awfully nice smile, it can be risky to interpret most elections as mandating anything at all.

Examples of mandate in a Sentence

Noun

Sports fans have considerable forbearance. Year after year they endure escalating ticket prices, the abomination known as seat licensing and the implied mandate that taxpayers should foot the bill for the new stadium or arena that will absolutely revive downtown. — Jack McCallum, Sports Illustrated, 30 July 2007 All provisions requiring congressional approval, such as FDA regulation, were dropped, as were mandates for stronger package warnings, tighter enforcement on sales to youth, stronger public smoking bans, and … provisions to reduce youth smoking. — Allan M. Brandt, The Cigarette Century, 2007 Not the least of the Governors' problems are the new mandates being put on them by Washington—by a President who was once one of their own. — Karen Tumulty, Time, 19 May 2003 Royal mandates must be obeyed. They carried out the governor's mandate to build more roads. He won the election so convincingly that he believed he had been given a mandate for change.

Verb

The carbon prices on the European exchanges are higher precisely because the allowances for carbon emissions are mandated by government. — Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, 2006 But the FDA did nothing. Later, it protested that it doesn't have the authority to mandate additional studies once a drug is marketed, but that is sophistry. The FDA has the authority to pull drugs off the market … — Marcia Angell, New York Review of Books, 8 June 2006 For a few tantalizing weeks this spring, the manufacturers of gun safety locks seemed to have hit the jackpot: the gun-control bill passed by the Senate in the wake of the Littleton shootings mandated that all new handguns be equipped with safety locks. — Calvin Trillin, Time, 5 July 1999 The law mandates that every car have seat belts. He won the election so convincingly that he believed the people had mandated him to carry out his policies.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

California separately has a program requiring increasing sales of zero-emissions vehicles that many other states follow, and the action plan unveiled Wednesday outlines recommendations for ensuring compliance with that mandate. Mike Spector, WSJ, "California and Eight Other States Push Plan to Boost Zero-Emission Vehicles," 20 June 2018 Celebrities have spoken out against the mandate, and many have taken to the streets in protest. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "Psychology Experts Condemn Taking Migrant Children From Parents: 'That Is Child Abuse'," 20 June 2018 But the penalty associated with the mandate has already been scrapped by lawmakers with the new tax law. Cristian Farias, Daily Intelligencer, "On Obamacare, the Department of Justice Is Standing Against the Rule of Law," 8 June 2018 Rather, in the brief, the Justice Department says that only the section of the law dealing with the individual mandate is unconstitutional. William Cummings And Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "Trump administration will no longer defend the Affordable Care Act in court," 7 June 2018 The repeal of the unconstitutional individual mandate and the passage of the tax cuts and jobs act. Cynthia Sewell, idahostatesman, "14 Idaho candidates on Trump, how they voted & his job performance today | Idaho Statesman," 24 Apr. 2018 This would incense not just environmentalists (who already hate Mr Trump), but also the oil lobby, which objects to the cost of the ethanol mandate, and big buyers of animal feed, whose bills go up if more corn is used to make ethanol. The Economist, "Donald Trump alienates farmers," 19 Apr. 2018 May didn’t have the popular mandate or the parliamentary votes to get what the right of her party demanded. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Did Trump Just Help Stop Brexit?," 13 July 2018 The Fed’s mandate from Congress is to maximize sustainable employment and ensure prices are stable, which the central bank defines as meeting a 2% inflation target. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Federal Reserve Report Defends Use of New Tools to Set Interest Rates," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The 2020 target is mandated by a 2006 law, but since then California has passed an even stricter law requiring emissions to be 40% below 1990 levels by the year 2030. Lucas Laursen, Fortune, "California Beat Its 2020 Emissions Target Four Years Early," 12 July 2018 The men were mandated to serve in his security detail. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "4 Things You’ll Learn About the Murderous Nation of Yahweh on People Magazine Investigates: Cults," 22 June 2018 The recent, long term ban was mandated by Iran's judiciary, and wasn't initiated by the government departments that typically oversee technology and censorship policy. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "The Unexpected Fallout of Iran's Telegram Ban," 19 June 2018 Some things simply cannot be mandated, not even by contract. John Gottman, Anchorage Daily News, "Five myths about marriage," 16 June 2018 In any case, the policy of separating border-crossing children and parents isn’t mandated by law but is a discretionary option the Trump administration chose, with a view towards discouraging asylum seekers. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Imprisoning kids is ... biblical?," 15 June 2018 Universities are now mandated via Title IX to streamline all of their student athletes through these types of trainings. Wade Davis, Teen Vogue, ""13 Reasons Why" Shows How Rape Culture Spreads," 23 May 2018 The decision reversed 1977’s Abood v. Detroit Board of Education and voided laws in 22 states mandating that employees pay such fees. Alana Abramson, Time, "The Supreme Court's Union Fees Decision Could Be a Huge Blow for Democrats," 29 June 2018 After emancipation, Jim Crow-era laws mandated segregation, though blacks could enter white spaces with permission. SFChronicle.com, "We should think deeply about the Alison Ettel viral video — and why it matters," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mandate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of mandate

Noun

1501, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1919, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mandate

Noun

Middle French & Latin; Middle French mandat, from Latin mandatum, from neuter of mandatus, past participle of mandare to entrust, enjoin, probably irregular from manus hand + -dere to put — more at manual, do

Verb

see mandate entry 1

Noun

Latin mandatum, from neuter of mandatus, past participle of mandare to entrust, enjoin, probably irregularly from manus hand + -dere to put

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mandate

Statistics for mandate

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mandate

The first known use of mandate was in 1501

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mandate

mandate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mandate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an official order to do something

: the power to act that voters give to their elected leaders

mandate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of mandate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to officially demand or require (something)

: to officially give (someone) the power to do something

mandate

noun
man·date | \ˈman-ˌdāt \

Kids Definition of mandate

1 : an order from a higher court to a lower court

2 : a command or instruction from an authority

3 : the instruction given by voters to their elected representatives

mandate

noun
man·date | \ˈman-ˌdāt \

Legal Definition of mandate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a formal communication from a reviewing court notifying the court below of its judgment and directing the lower court to act accordingly

b : mandamus

2 in the civil law of Louisiana : an act by which a person gives another person the power to transact for him or her one or several affairs

3a : an authoritative command : a clear authorization or direction the mandate of the full faith and credit clauseNational Law Journal

b : the authorization to act given by a constituency to its elected representative

mandate

transitive verb
mandated; mandating

Legal Definition of mandate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make mandatory or required the Pennsylvania Constitution mandates a criminal defendant's right to confrontationNational Law Journal

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on mandate

What made you want to look up mandate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!